About Surgical Excision
One of the most widely recognized melanoma skin cancer solutions is surgical excision. During this procedure, board-certified and fellowship-trained dermatologist Dr. Eric Wilkerson will remove the melanoma or cancerous growth along with the bordering tissue, which may appear to be benign. The excised (or removed) skin tissue will be passed to a pathologist for further testing to ascertain whether the tissue border is cancer-free. In case the tissue proves to be cancerous, a secondary procedure would be required to remove all cancer. Dr. Wilkerson will consult with you to determine if surgical excision is the right treatment choice for your condition.
You are likely a good candidate for surgical excision if you have skin cancer around your torso, arms, or legs. This procedure is normally simpler and faster than other surgical removal techniques but is not as cosmetically inconspicuous, meaning you will likely have a scar. This technique is sometimes utilized to allow for thorough observation of skin cancer sample so patients in need of further diagnostic testing may also be candidates for surgical excision.
Since surgical excision is an invasive procedure, anesthesia will be provided. For smaller, easy-to-reach melanomas, a local anesthetic will be administered. If a melanoma is larger and in a more difficult location, general anesthesia could be required. Prior to surgery, Dr. Wilkerson will thoroughly clean the treatment area and administer anesthesia. The cancer will then be cut away using a scalpel and horizontal cuts around the growth and surrounding tissue. An electrode can be utilized to execute a feathering technique, which will smooth the edges around the wound. This helps to get rid of extra cells from the growth and minimizes the likelihood of scarring.
Small excisions can be sutured together while larger excisions may need a skin graft to close up the wound. A chemical will be applied to the treatment area to stop any bleeding, and an antibiotic will be prescribed to accelerate the healing process. In addition, a sterile badge will be applied to the wound to protect it and keep it from getting infected.
What to Expect
The length of your recovery and downtime could vary, depending on the location and size of the particular excision, as well as whether skin grafts were required to complete your treatment. After your surgery, you may experience a burning sensation or general discomfort in the area where the growth was removed. For the first few days following the surgery, you are advised to take an over-the-counter medication, such as acetaminophen to alleviate pain. You can also expect some scarring which will appear red at first but will lighten over time. Several creams or gels can be utilized to help reduce the chance of scarring. To protect the wound, a bandage should be placed on the treatment site when in the sun.
Skilled Melanoma Treatment
Whenever you encounter a growth that appears abnormal, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible. The growth could be cancerous and the sooner it is discovered, the better your chance for survival. An excision could be warranted and could remove all the cancer before it spreads to surrounding skin and body parts. Excision also allows for cells to undergo further testing that might confirm whether all of the cancer has been removed. Make an appointment at Fort Lauderdale Dermatology as soon as you can to meet with seasoned dermatologist Dr. Eric Wilkerson who will analyze the growth, discuss medical and family history, and discuss all options, including if surgical excision is the right treatment for you.